It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Android’s growth in the past three years has been remarkable, so the constant stream of reports showing those increases are no longer surprising. Still, it’s nice to actually see that progress put into numbers.

Advertising network Millennial Media released its latest report that shows Android outpacing all rivals in both impressions and downloads. The Mobile Mix Q3 2011 report shows that Android now accounts for 56 percent of total impressions in Millennial’s network. That doubles the 28 percent of iOS, 13 percent by RIM, and combined 3 percent of Windows Phone 7, Symbian, webOS, and others.

Like most reports delivered through advertising companies, this is not to be considered an exact depiction of the mobile device landscape. After all, this report says 14 percent of phones accessing ads are on Sprint’s network, but only 8 percent are on AT&T. Considering how many millions more users are on AT&T than Sprint, one would think the numbers would be the other way around.

However, by comparing to previous Mobile Mix reports, there’s a consistent pattern that is worth noting. There really is a tremendous amount of growth that few could have seen when Android debuted three years ago. In Q2 2009, the only Android device on the MM Top 20 Mobile Phones chart was the T-Mobile G1. In Q3 2011, only 5 of the Top 20 aren’t Android devices.

Here are some other notes from the report

  • The LG Optimus is the most popular Android phone on the Mobile Mix
  • “Legacy devices” like the original Motorola Droid, HTC Hero (G2 Touch) remain with strong showings
  • HTC’s number of phones in the Top 20 doubled, but more impressive was Huawei. The low-cost Ideos made the Top 10, and Huawei’s impressions tripled thanks to targeting feature phone owners looking for affordable smartphones.
  • The most popular app categories continue to be Games, Music, Social networking, and Communication. News replaced weather to round-out the Top 5, and Productivity surpassed travel to enter the Top 10. Science and Technology fell from the rankings.

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